Ad accessibility

Making the first Accessible British Arrows

Sponsoring the 47th British Arrows on Thursday felt like a natural fit. We make sure the best in TV creativity gets to air responsibly, so being in the (vast!) ballroom of Grosvenor House Hotel with all 1300 guests, winners and nominees to celebrate innovators of moving image advertising was a real treat.

Our central role in the industry was reflected in our guest list, with MD Sam Smith joined by guests from the IPA, ISBA, the ASA, the Ad Association and the RNID. Our Commercial & Operations Director David Joel welcomed our Delivery customers from Jam Worldwide and ITV Creative as well as our ‘Adsmart from Sky’ partners to his table.

We were enormously proud to sponsor The Charity and Public service award, which went to “The Last Photo”, an important and moving suicide prevention film which swept the board on Thursday and rightly so. Huge congratulations to Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), ITV and Adam & Eve DDB for collecting all those arrows. Where will you put them all?

A big highlight for us was delivering the first accessible British Arrows as part of our recently launched ‘Accessible ads for all’ campaign. The number of accessible TV ads in the UK is low and the 7.5 million people who use subtitling for TV programmes are missing out every time their favourite show cuts to an ad break. We wanted to not only make the evening better for guests who use subtitles and sign-language, but also raise awareness about this crucial topic and startling missed opportunity for advertisers.

We approached the Arrows team in November and have been hard at work since, so seeing the BSL signers and subtitles in action on Thursday was a special moment to say the least.

Lisa Lavender, Managing Director of The British Arrows recently said “We didn’t hesitate when Clearcast asked us if we were open to making the awards more accessible. This year’s shortlist has at least two films which address accessibility issues. We’re pleased to play a small part in raising awareness and helping to drive the #adsforall initiative during this year’s British Arrows awards ceremony.”

We also pointed guests towards our accessible ads survey in their gorgeous Book of The Night which guests took home.  The survey is designed to unpick the industry’s thoughts on the topic and find out what the barriers are to making more. We’ll share the results with the industry in May, so if you’re reading this and you haven’t taken the survey yet, please do! It closes on April 18th.

Thanks to the team at British Arrows and their production crew as well as MyClearText for working hard to get this over the line. We hope making the British Arrows accessible for the first time encourages many more conversations about how we can all do our bit to improve the status quo and help make TV ads accessible for all.


4th April 2023